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Ganadera Bocas S.A. in Naso indigenous territory, Panama


The Naso or Teribe people are an indigenous people of Panama and Costa Rica. They primarily live in the Bocas del Toro. In the early 1970s, the Ganadera Bocas S.A. construction company was given a property title stating legal ownership on land originally belonging to the Naso people. Since March 2009, the company has been displacing Naso inhabitants by force and demolishing their villages. The Naso people held protest rallies against the destruction of their land and the Panamanian Government lack of legal recognition of their ancestral territories.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Ganadera Bocas S.A. in Naso indigenous territory, Panama
State or province:Bocas del Toro
Location of conflict:Changuinola District
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:Land

Project Details and Actors

Project details

In 2012, the Naso people complained against dams and touristic complexes' development in the Changuinola and Teribe rivers.

Type of populationUnknown
Start of the conflict:22/08/1973
Company names or state enterprises:Ganadera Bocas S.A. from Panama
Relevant government actors:Government of Panama, Municipality of Changuinola, Civil Defense Commission
International and Finance InstitutionsOficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos (OACNUDH)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:ACD - Panama, Naso People Native Communities of San San and San San Druy - Panama

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Street protest/marches


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage)
Potential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of landscape/sense of place


Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Negotiated alternative solution
Violent targeting of activists
Development of alternatives:They demand the recognition of their Comarca which would demarcate their territory and protect it from further appropriation.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The indigenous communities have been displaced from their ancestral territory without any form of compensation.

Sources & Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Claiming for Comarca Naso Tjër Di

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

El pueblo Naso Tjër Di, Otra America, 09/04/2011

Acaparamiento de las Tierras

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Chilibre: cuevas, represas y ecoturismo


ADITAL Noticias de America Latina y Caribe

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Pueblo Naso exige reconocimiento a gobierno Panameño, 5/11/2014

Declaración del Relator Especial sobre los derechos de los pueblos indígenas al concluir su visita oficial a Panamá, 26/07/2013

Other documents

Pueblo Naso, Panama Revista Otro Mundo es Posible

Meta information

Contributor:Lucie Greyl
Last update04/01/2016



Pueblo Naso, Panama

Revista Otro Mundo es Posible